Great first time cruising experience: Carnival Splendor Cruise Review by innerfish

Carnival Splendor 5
Member Since 2012
97 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Great first time cruising experience

Sail Date: September 2011
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
This is our first cruise ever! It was an amazing trip. We've been planning on it forever. I nailed the cruise deal, ship, and date research while my girlfriend researched all ports activities.

The ship was huge for first timer, 12 floors hotel to be exact. Although we didn't really dig their decor (very old school casino feel, gold color bling bling every where) but the service was very personal. All staff were very professional and friendly. Our house keeper call us by names daily (we tipped him extra).

We stayed at Empress level. It was quiet deck to stay at. High enough from busy casino and restaurants downstairs and two decks away from the pool upstairs, without all the pool deck noise. I think cabin location on a ship is the most important part of the cruise. We loved our room, cause it only took us few flight of stairs we were at pool and drinking martinis. But aft facing room was quiet a walk every day to the elevators. There is laundry mat on every other More floor if you need to do laundry.

Entertainment was fun, I mean not top notched, but I was on a cruise ship, I didn't expect much. It was good enough for me. What was the best experience for us were food and spa. The dining was nothing like I imagined. I thought all inclusive cruise dining must be some kind of lame joke. Turned out the food was gourmet restaurant level food. Dinner became something we expected every day on the ship. We were the first ones waiting by the door every night lol.

Cloud 9 Spa was nice. We paid around $200 cover charge to use their thalasso pool, steam bath and thermal suite for the entire length of the cruise. I don't know, I think it was well worth it, we were there almost every night. What I should have done was I should have booked a cloud 9 spa room...

Downside? yea, the "fun ship" had too much fun, there were many young kids on board, running around and screaming in the hall way... I guess that's ok, but not too cool with college drunks back flipped into the swimming pool with baseball cap and cargo shorts... sometimes even with beer in their hands... that kinda killed the mood. Get off the ship was a nightmare to us. Both at ports and last day, especially if you have a plane to catch or what not. To us, we were so nervous at Cabo when the tendering ship taking forever to unload people one group at a time, we almost missed our tour. (I guess that's the downside for booking the tour outside of the cruise line)

Overall it was great experience. We can't wait until our next cruise to Alaska. Less

Published 07/24/12

Cabin review: 8M7449 Aft-View Extended Balcony

Super small room. barely enough space for me and my girlfriend walk around the bed. but the view justify the size. awesome view and quiet cabin. don't really have any complaint...

Read All Aft-View Extended Balcony (8M) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Cabo had very beautiful landscape and white sandy beach with warm, clear water. I loved the nature, but not so much about the town. Everyone is going to try to sell you something. I didn't even feel like I was at Mexico... Took two tours Day 1 Kayaking and snorkeling with independent vendor. (water was awesome!) Day 2 Horse riding and ATV (a lot of fun)

Sea Lion Encounter

omg, sea lion!!! hugging me! and smiling at me! what else do I have to say? oh by the way, this is the only shore excursion we took with Carnival. cause the vendor said Carnival has contract with them, we cannot book directly with them, we had to book through carnival. Of course it was expensive, but then it was also the only tour that we didn't have to worry about anything, like rushing the time, running to port, cause Carnival basically took care of the entire tour right off the ship.

Compare Prices on Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera Cruises

Read more Carnival Splendor cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Splendor Review >>

Compare Prices on Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera Cruises

Member Since 2012
97 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Carnival Splendor deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Carnival Splendor 66% Loved It

7 Day Exotic Western Caribbean
See all Carnival Splendor Deals >>